Obama Announces Progress in Veterans Health Care and Reducing Homelessness
Sep 27, 2016
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2016 – President Barack Obama recently touted the progress his administration has achieved in reducing veteran homelessness and improving veterans’ access to health care. Obama spoke at the annual Disabled American Veterans convention in Atlanta on August 1.
“The Obama administration has had to deal with a number of scandals over wait times at VA hospitals, which has led to the deaths of countless veterans,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “Progress should be recognized. However, it is important to make sure that such incidents do not happen again in the future.”
Obama referred to data that shows 500,000 veterans have voluntarily donated their health information and blood samples to the national Million Veteran Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking to enroll a million veterans in its research initiative for tailored medical treatment. In his speech, the president said ensuring veterans get the health care and benefits they have earned is a “sacred covenant” that is a “moral imperative.”
In addition, Obama noted that in the past year a “historic” 58 million veterans have received care at VA facilities. According to the government, 97 percent of veterans had their appointments under 30 days of the requested date while 90 percent of veterans are “either satisfied or completely satisfied with the timeliness of their care.”
However, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from earlier this year revealed that newly enrolled veterans seeking primary care face wait times of between 22 and 71 days. Improper scheduling prevents many veterans from accessing the care they need. The White House admitted more has to be done to improve veterans’ access to health care. Continued efforts are to include boosting clinical hours and enlarging the space available for care inside VA facilities.
Obama also announced that veteran homelessness has decreased by 47 percent since 2010. Ending veteran homelessness was a key component of the government’s Opening Doors initiative launched the same year. Despite the progress, the president has been unable to meet his goal of completely eradicating it by 2015.
“While there have been multiple advances in a number of areas, the commitment to veterans issues should not diminish with the next incoming president,” commented Fausone.
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